If he didn’t before (and he sure as shit did), Luke Toki now 10,000% deserves to win this season of Australian Survivor after the shit he managed to pull off in last night’s insane Tribal Council. In fact, don’t even bother to run the rest of the series now. It’s over. It’s run and done. Give Luke the Sole Survivor crown and the $500,000 immediately. In one series of perfectly executed moves, Luke snuffed out what little remaining chance Harry, Pia, Baden, and especially Abbey had against him. It’s over, it’s done, Luke wins. He’s stitched the entire thing up. The crown is his.
Last night’s Tribal Council was a masterpiece of Survivor strategy. With little more than a piece of paper and an immunity necklace, Luke worked misdirection like a true artist. It was an orchestra of obfuscation. A tour de force of trickery.
To break down what he managed to pull off, we have to understand what he had at his disposal.
Earlier in last night’s episode, Luke found a unique game advantage, which allowed him to select one person at Tribal Council to send back to camp, making them immune to being voted out, but also removing their vote from the pile.
Theoretically, that’s as good as an Immunity Idol. Luke could quite easily use it to save himself from a group of four tribemates running at him harder than your average freight train.
What he did with it instead is quite extraordinary.
Walking into Tribal Council with both that and Individual Immunity, Luke bragged openly about “Crazy Luke” coming out. But nothing could be further from the truth.
— SurvivorAU (@Survivor_AU) September 10, 2019
Nothing about the move he pulled off is crazy. Not one bit of it. Every single part of Luke’s Big Move™ is calculated, carefully orchestrated, and fucking spectacularly executed. Observe it broken down piece by piece:
STEP ONE: He uses his advantage to remove Baden from the vote.
Luke could’ve done anything with his advantage. He could’ve tucked it up his ass and walked into the final three for all we care. Instead, he sends Baden back to camp and out of the vote. This is genius. Baden is loyal to a tee, and won’t waver from voting in a bloc with Harry. But in order for this move to work, Luke needs three volatile, believable targets in the vote. Baden, at this stage in the game, is canon fodder, and isn’t a believable threat to anyone.
STEP TWO: He tells Pia to vote for Abbey.
Crucially, he doesn’t tell Pia of his plans until Tribal Council begins. He lets her walk into Tribal Council 100% convinced she has one rapidly shrinking ass cheek out of the game. Not only does this give her the reprieve to stay in the game, it doesn’t give her the time to parlay that information into a better deal at camp. Better still, it gives Luke a critical ally in a final four scenario, and Pia a potential ride to a seat at the final two.
STEP THREE: He tells Abbey to vote for Harry.
Here’s where it gets good. Only after he creates an environment of chaos does Luke rise up, stroll over to Abbey, and whisper-convince her to vote Harry, not Pia as originally planned. Luke leaves Harry out of the equation, because he’d see straight through it. But with Champion Strong™™™ bonds lingering, Abbey falls into the trap of believing that Luke wants to take out the last remaining Contender threat. What that leaves is a triangle of volatility, where Abbey is voting Harry, Harry is voting Pia, and Pia is voting Abbey. Luke, then, becomes the deciding vote.
STEP FOUR: Luke blindsides Abbey.
The only remaining person capable of upending him in a physical immunity challenge, gone. The last hurdle of resistance cleared. By removing Abbey, Luke clears the scrub on the path to the final two for himself. He knows the only way to get past Harry and Baden is to outlast them by winning challenges. He knows that in preserving Pia he has a handy vote that will influence the structure of the final three. And in Abbey, a professional athlete with a tank like a submarine, he knows he had a legitimate Immunity threat in a season that has shown itself almost allergic to puzzle challenges and deeply horny for physical and endurance-based ones.
Abbey goes, and Luke can two more Immunity Challenges on the trot without breaking much of a sweat.
Pia stays, Luke can use that vote to hoist Harry out of the game at four.
Luke then strolls into the final two against either Baden, who he beats in a likely unanimous final vote, or Pia, who has some votes on the jury but not enough against him to win.
Luke wins Australian Survivor this year. He simply has to.
Now watch him cough up Immunity next week and render this entire article utterly useless. Watch that shit happen.